ESI Q and A Forums Home

 Moderated by: DrDeb  
AuthorPost
tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
I have been recently informed garlic is toxic to horse could it be explained why and why it is sold and encouraged to be fed. Is this a substance that has been used in treatment for specific conditions and the myth of it doing good for horses gone overboard????? i have always been aware to much garlic is bad but a little does good?? Confused. I use galic and woormwood to worm my horses between the nasty chemical drenches from the vets to try and limit how many they recieve in a year am i doing more halm than good???

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui's Mom: Yes, yes, and yes. Yes Garlic is definitely toxic, and recent studies have shown that it is dangerous to feed it to horses, even in the amounts recommended by the sellers. Plus it has nearly zero effect against flies. "Testimonials" by purchasers are heavily relied upon by the sellers of herbs; but testimonials are given by people who are living with hope. What you need is a scientific study and these are what have shown close to zero effectiveness.

Yes, there are LOTS of "herbal" remedies that are either toxic, or else a waste of money -- for example, flax seed is now being pushed but raw flaxseed is also highly toxic and should never be fed to horses. And there are additives in many "herbals" that are toxic, and since in most countries "herbal supplements" are not scrutinized by the government anything like as closely as are the substances that are called "drugs", you can get ANYTHING in those tablets in the way of impurities. And there have been many cases of poisoning from this cause. Why don't you purchase a copy of our "Poison Plants in the Pasture" and educate yourself thoroughly on this subject, if indeed you care about your horses? So you see I am selling something, too. Whom can you believe? You will have to decide.

What I am telling you is that just because something is sold does not make it good or safe. And Yes, wormwood is extremely toxic and an hallucinogen besides. The "chemical drenches" from your veterinarian are, if used correctly, far less likely to do harm to your horse, and at the same time, much more effective against the internal parasites you are trying to eliminate. I would not have upon my farm anyone who tried to "worm" with any herbal, i.e. tobacco or wormwood or whatnot, because then it will be YOUR horse that is guilty of harboring worms and then passing them to MY horse. Again, just because something is "herbal" does not make it good. There is no such thing on any farm, at any time, as natural. If it is manufactured, concentrated, purified, extracted, or anything else, it is not natural. And the farm environment itself is not natural; that's why we need wormers in the first place.

And, further, "natural" is not a synonym of "better" -- which is what you have fallen into believing.

What you need is to get away from relying on what other people tell you, my dear. Because the seller of so-called "natural" remedies has just as big a vested interest in seeing you purchase his products, as does the company that produces what are called "chemicals". So you need to get rational here and realize that everything that happens to your horse, happens because YOU have decided that it shall. You cannot leave it up to being "natural", because doing that is the same as deciding that he shall have worms.

I suggest you contact a veterinarian in your area that has experience in large-animal and/or equine practice, and have a conversation with him or her. And during that conversation, I want you to pledge not to view the veterinarian as some kind of criminal who stands at the front of the mega-chemical industry, because that is not what most of them are. And you then listen openmindedly to what they have to tell you about the types of wormers that are effective, and how to plan a program so that the horses need to be drenched with the least frequency. And then I want you to call another veterinarian, equally a horse practitioner, and have the same conversation with them. And a third. And then you weigh what you have heard and you make your decision on that basis. -- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
Thankyou so much for your reply i have only just started looking into herbal side of horse keeping but have a very good relationship with my vets due to having so many so i think i will carry on as i am and listen to science lol......I will purchase the book you suggested on plants as it can be confusing sometimes i'm hoping soy bean oil is o.k as that is what they receive with timothy pellets and sugar beat along with supplements i was starting to question a few things such as the flax seed so was great that you happen to confirm that also for me thanks kindly.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui -- why are you feeding soybean oil? When you get your Poison Plants book, you will find that almost all types of beans (soybeans are beans) are poisonous to horses.

The deal is this, Tui. Small amounts of raw flax seeds have never killed any horse. Neither, to my knowledge, have a few soybeans. But the reason you feed the flax seeds is to derive the benefits of the currently-popular-to-think-about Omega 3 fatty acids. OK, well and good: all mammals do need those fatty acids in the diet, horses included. But a horse weighs 700 kg or 1,000 lbs., or more. To get enough raw flaxseed into him to give him an effective dose of the Omega-3's, you would have to feed him enough raw flaxseed to poison him.

Some people also feed flaxseed as a way to up the protein content in the horse's diet. This has been discussed particularly in Australia for years, because they really do sometimes have difficulty bringing in enough hay, and to keep the horses from dying they have to feed something. So the Australian government rightly warns its people that if they are going to feed flax, it must be in the form of processed cake. The cake is made by HOT PRESSING the flax, which denatures the toxin -- or MOST of the toxin -- it's still not something I would feed if I could get decent hay.

And likewise with soy oil. This is a concentrate, so it's not at all like feeding just a few soybeans; even a tablespoonfull of oil represents the "exudate" -- what was pressed -- from many beans. Soy is not the BEST food for humans, either, as far as that goes -- despite its popularity as a so-called "health food"; it has its downside (i.e. high phytoestrogen content, tendency to unbalance the calcium metabolism). And these are precisely the kinds of things you should most fear in growing young horses.

So Tui, what I am telling you is this: horses eat grass. That is what you feed them -- grass. Unlike us, horses can and do derive fat, protein, carbohydrates, and the whole spectrum of vitamins and other nutritive substances strictly from what looks to us like "salad". They are amazing animals. So part of the mistake you've been making, and that a lot of people make, is in a kind of subconscious way assume that they need something ("meat and potatoes") OTHER than grass. But if they have good grass, plus clean water, they need absolutely nothing else.

Grass grown on any kind of decent soil will have MOST of all they need for good health, including all the Omega-3's that a horse needs. You cannot raise a superior horse by means of supplementation; in other words, it is foolish to rely on supplementation. What you RELY on is providing a diet based on the best quality hay. If that is what you have provided, and if you feed it correctly (i.e. not in excess, not moldy, and not containing significant amounts of any grass such as ryegrass or fescue or phalaris or kikuyu that is toxic or harmful) -- then your horses will grow up just great. Then, whether they win at the track will depend further upon how well you get them broke, how intelligently they are trained and conditioned, how well they are jockeyed, and luck that keeps them from accidents.

So you trade in the money you have been paying for supplements, and you take that same money and you use it to buy the best hay you can find.

Only where there is a necessary feeding practice (such as soaking the hay) that we know is likely to remove nutrients from the hay; or where THE HORSE HIMSELF SHOWS YOU signs of trouble (difficulty gaining or holding weight, diagnosis of OCD, marked late shedding or dull coat, splitting or collapsing hooves) do you then respond to that by the judicious addition of substances to the diet, or by changes to the diet. The rational approach to feeding is to have a complete-spectrum test of your hay and pasture done once each year. As a New Zealander, you will be especially interested in the following: calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and the fructan spectrum. And you DO need to learn your grasses, how to tell them apart whether in the field or dried in the hay.

Information concerning all of this is in the Poison Plants book, along with the addresses of a dozen laboratories that do pasture and hay assays. -- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
thanks all my horses are on rhy grass so they are always on de-toxify toxin binder and alleviate calcium/magnesium and premium nz mineral mix all promoted and told are essential in a horses diet according to jenny so il just go with that for now untill i learn a bit more as my horses have transformed and look  amazing, moving bvetter, behaving better and much improved since being on this so called "provide it plan" and  if definitely notice the difference. Our hay is grown off the property  also but am re-grassing with a grass mix called ash's mix containing soft brown top(apparently a not-toxic form) , cox foot, prairies and timothy grasses im hoping this will again improve my horses health and reduce my feed bill yet again.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Yes, Tui, all of this is good and appropriate, and I am not telling you to stop any of these things. This is HOW you get the good hay.

However -- you can stop feeding soy oil and flaxseed, and the sooner the better. If you need oil in the horse's diet, then use small amounts of ordinary corn or canola oil, or (more expensive, but better) olive oil. Olive oil is less convenient because it will gel at refrigerator temps, whereas corn and canola will still be liquid.

The main thing with oil is to refrigerate it, and throw it out the instant you open the bottle and it smells rancid. Rancid oil is the best way I know of to get harmful "oxidants" into the body. -- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
thank you so much for putting my mind at rest i shall eliminate the oil and find out an appropriate amount of corn oil to feed and start to keep things as simple as possible. I  look forward to attending a clinic at some stage. Your forums are very interesting and its great having someone to reference things to in the ever confusing right and  wrong of how to care for my horses...i have one last question about the plant comfery my horses i notice will eat it any chance they get bar one horse who doesn't go near it? Should i remove it? Thanks kindly for your time.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui -- yes, you should remove the Comfrey immediately. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), along with all groundsels and ragworts (genus Senecio), heliotrope (Heliotropium), hound's tongue (Cynoglossum), blue weed/bugloss/Salvation Jane/Patterson's curse (Echium), rattlebox (Crotalaria), and fiddleneck/tarweed (Amsinckia) -- all of these common wildflowers contain large amounts of highly toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Again, tea made from comfrey leaves is an old "herbal remedy". But it happens to be an herbal remedy that will give you liver failure. Once again: the downside outweighs any supposed advantages. One of the most insidious aspects of "PA" poisons is that they cannot be eliminated very readily from the body. That means that, once ingested, they go on poisoning liver cells. PA poisoning is the leading cause in horses of skin photosensitivity (to learn how the death of liver cells leads to photosensitization, which horsemen call "scratches" or "mud fever", please obtain and read either the Poison Plants book, or else get a copy of the Australian poison plants guide, or Knight and Walter's "Plant poisoning of animals in North America" -- all three of these books very well explain for New Zealanders, because the plants occur on all the different continents and islands).

Tui, just because a horse eats a plant or goes after eating it does not mean that he "needs" it. This is a terrible, false idea that has been bruited about the "natural horsekeeping" community.

Horses have zero wisdom about what weeds they should or should not eat. Mustangs, Brumbies, and Kaimanuas on range in NZ regularly die when the food that is good for them on the range becomes scarce and they turn then to eating whatever greenery they can find. This is precisely why you don't allow weeds to grow up in small paddocks; the animals will mow down anything except the sourest, prickliest, and woodiest -- and will even eat that, or try to, if they get either hungry or bored enough.

Another feature that makes the Senecios, Symphytums, and Patterson's Curse so bad is that these plants do contain a fair amount of fructan. This is the first thing about a plant that attracts horses -- they can smell the sugars. What they can't detect is the poisons that come with whatever sweet taste.

So you protect your horses by cleaning up your paddocks, and also by providing proper hay and/or graze. -- Dr. Deb

 

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
wow thats great info is the damage reversible?? I extremely concerned it continues to damage the liver and explains perhaps why my mare in foal is going down hill so fast she  has access to comfrey allot and also chicory which i hope isn't another bad one i will put order in for books,,, i hope not  to much damage has been done she has broken out in mud fever which is not like her and  and appears to have a form skin reaction all over her body breaking out and going bald on her body and around her eyes,  loosing weight and become a bit laboured in her breathing and  perhaps this overlooked plant can possibly be held responsible for a bit of this thanks the vet will be out in two days to make a judgement call so will try eliminate her from anything that doesn't look like grass.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui, all the symptoms you describe are of fairly advanced PA poisoning. As soon as any horse starts to display sun-sensitivity, skin rashes, loss of hair or sunburning on thinner skin, liver failure/liver toxicity must be suspected.

Yes, the damage is irreversable and permanent, or at least very slowly recovering. Treatment will consist of covering the horse's thin skinned areas as much as feasible, and, of course, removing all toxic plants immediately.

When you get your Poison Plants book -- which more than anybody else who has written in here you seem to need urgently -- you will see that Chicory is a high-sugar plant. That's why they cultivate it in New Zealand: as a cow feed additive. Horses relish it as much as cows, and it can be OK for horses if they are of the type that has trouble gaining weight. But if they are of the type that runs to fat and cresty, then they can't have chicory or any other high-sugar feed. -- Dr. Deb

ruth
Member
 

Joined: Sat Oct 20th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 69
Status:  Offline
Dear Dr Deb, Interesting comments about the toxins in raw flaxseed (linseed in the UK); in old stable management manuals grooms were instructed to boil linseed to a jelly to eliminate toxins, but I havent seen this fed for years, so presumably the practice died out when the feed companies took over the world (well, so it seems at my feed merchants).  Given the current popularity of omega-3 oils my question is, is raw linseed also toxic to humans? 

Ruth

Andrea
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jun 18th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
Interesting topic!  What about fish oil for Omega 3's?   To me, it seems to not be what a grazing animal should eat, but it's becoming popular with the Omega craze.  -Andrea

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Ruth, the toxin that flaxseed and linseed oil contains is a cyanogenic glycoside. This type of molecule is broken down in the body to liberate cyanide.

Linseed oil sold for human consumption is HOT PRESSED, which (mostly) denatures the toxin. Linseed oil sold as an artist's medium (oil paints) or as part of the formula in commercially-manufactured house and boat paint, is not necessarily hot pressed and of course is not intended for human or animal consumption.

So if somebody is telling people to eat raw linseed oil, or raw flaxseed in any but tiny quantities ("sprinkle over breakfast cereal"), then they need to be brought before authorities. And I would not eat raw flaxseed in even that small an amount.

Again, again, again: the potential benefit is outweighed by the problem. And sometimes, even pretty good choices have downsides. The best sources of Omega-3's that I know of are oils from "oily" species of fish, and walnuts. If you choose to get your Omega-3's from canned wild salmon, you should avoid farmed (domestic) salmon because the Omega-3 content is much lower. Salmon are mid-to-top level carnivores, so you must also avoid any that comes from a bay or delta, where mercury and other toxins will likely be concentrated in the fish's flesh. If you choose to use "fish oil", keep the tablets in the 'fridge, because even encapsulated, fish oil can go rancid and then you have oxidants which are problematic. If you want to use walnuts, then guard vigilantly against their becoming rancid or moldy....the mold that grows on walnuts produces aflatoxin, which is an amazingly potent carcinogen as well as being directly toxic.

And again: yes, making specific efforts to eat Omega-3's is a craze. It's true that all mammals need this nutrient. However, it is also true that if you eat a healthy diet -- i.e. a diet that includes oily fish a couple of days per week -- then you will not need supplementation. So have a couple of kippers with your breakfast, and one supper per week that features fish. That's for humans. The human liver and digestive system is different than that of the horse. So, as I said previously, horses get all the nutrients they require from good hay/graze. The main objective in buying hay or developing/maintaining pasture is to be sure to have only grasses that are good for horses -- because even though horses are meant to eat grass, even some grasses are toxic. The worst problem grasses are: any ryegrass (Lolium), tall and meadow fescue (Festuca or Schedonorus), canarygrass (Phalaris), panic grasses/witchgrass (Panicum), Kikuyu (Pennisetum), Sudangrass/Johnsongrass (Sorghum). These are the most common which also have fairly high toxicity.

There are a number of others besides these, which may locally, temporarily, or due to poor pasture management practices affect individual farms. But rather than get partial answers here, folks, why don't you just get a Poison Plants disk of your own? I went to the trouble of putting together 1,000 pages of gorgeous photos and SUCCINCT, ORGANIZED information so you have all the information at your fingertips. We love PDF documents because the search function works so beautifully, and because the color photos can be printed out so you can take them to the field!

Happy plant-hunting....Dr. Deb

Bonnie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Utah USA
Posts: 17
Status:  Offline
Thank you, Dr. Deb, for the information on soy oil and flaxseed.  I had a personal experience with soy that put me in the hospital a few years ago.  So, I now read labels religiously.  It's hard to find products that don't have soy added - they even put it in canned tuna.  Since I had a problem with soy, I started reading horse feed labels too.  There is soy in most of the horse feeds I've seen.  It's really hard to find a commercial feed that doesn't have soy added.  So, my diet is basically unprocessed fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish and my horses' diet is grass or hay and unadulterated whole oats (when needed).

What about feeding horses probiotics?  Has any research been done on it?

I really enjoy your books on CD-Rom; the search feature on the computer makes it so easy to find things quickly.  I was going to ask about beet pulp, but the answer is on the Poison Plants CD.  :)  Thank you for the incredible amount of work it took to put that together.

Bonnie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Utah USA
Posts: 17
Status:  Offline
More questions - hypothetical.  Suppose a person had fed their horse some of that "natural wormer" with garlic and wormwood in it (for a few days a few months ago).  And, suppose that the person's horse came down with a bad case of scratches on one white hind leg.  And suppose that the person's vet tried everything to get rid of it, with some success (it cleared up on one side of his leg and appeared on the other side).  Would it help to give the horse dandelion to cleanse the liver?  Is there anything else the person could do, besides throw the poison away (or send it back where it came from with a link to your website)?

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
Hi have had vet to my ill mare apparently she is lacking in protein are there any good sources of protein?? they listed allot of options none of which i really like they sound off as they all had soy bean meal in.we have had to take the foal of 5 1/2 months off her so she puts more into herself and her foal she is carrying we have also put a light sheet on her to keep the sun off her. The breathing is a very long sentence apparently up in the larics that is common in old horses so will see how she goes they didnt suggest much besides possible surgery if it gets worse and a small chance steriods and anti-biotics may help. thanks again for all your info and responses.

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
Hi have had vet to my ill mare apparently she is lacking in protein are there any good sources of protein?? they listed allot of options none of which i really like they sound off as they all had soy bean meal in.we have had to take the foal of 5 1/2 months off her so she puts more into herself and her foal she is carrying we have also put a light sheet on her to keep the sun off her. The breathing is a very long sentence apparently up in the larics that is common in old horses so will see how she goes they didnt suggest much besides possible surgery if it gets worse and a small chance steriods and anti-biotics may help. thanks again for all your info and responses.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui, what the vet is telling you is that you have not been providing good hay or other quality feed to your horse.

You need to learn to look at and understand the information that is printed on the bags that bagged feed comes in. Almost everyone who is trying to maintain a lactating or pregnant mare would use some form of bagged feed made for mares in that condition. The bag will tell you what the "guaranteed minimum amount" or "guaranteed analysis" of the recommended serving is. It will contain carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Generally, bagged feed prepared for pregnant and/or lactating mares will have generous amounts of protein (i.e. something above 15%).

And Tui, protein is a nutrient; and therefore, what I told you before still applies -- horses get protein out of good hay and good graze. But a lactating mare particularly will require higher amounts than most peoples' pasture can provide, unless it is very lush and also composed of just the right species of grass. So, that is why most people use bagged feeds for their lactating mare. Normally one also adds lucerne to the diet, and this may be OK for you depending upon the type of lucerne you are able to obtain (i.e. it is possible to feed too rich a lucerne, which will harm the horse. And again, I know you're currently intending to purchase a Poison Plants book, but this is all discussed in that book).

It sounds to me also as if you would benefit from obtaining a good book that talks about basic horse feeding and care. In North America, all three of the biggest and best-edited equine magazines (Equus Magazine, Practical Horseman Magazine, and Western Horseman Magazine) have published such books in times past. There is also the United States Equestrian Team Book of Horse Keeping and Horse Care. And there are many "coffee table books", i.e. big format color books, that at least touch on this topic that you can buy in the larger bookstores. I am certain too, that in both Australia and New Zealand there are government publications that teach this very basic stuff. You could get them by Googling for them on the Internet. The prices charged for those would be nominal.

Now Bonnie, you will have observed from Tui's question here, if you can pick through the threads of the way she tells it, that her vet has told her to put a cover on her mare. This will be because the vet also has noticed that Tui's horse is showing signs of skin photosensitivity ("hives", "scratches", "mud fever"). The first-aid for this is to cover all thin and/or light-skinned areas that face upward or outward toward the sun. You can also apply creams containing good ol' zinc oxide, which is an effective sunblocker, but only if your horse can tolerate them (i.e. some horses have allergic reactions to the sunblock itself). If your horse tolerates zinc oxide, buy it mixed in a sticky, rather thick paste and slather it on very generously.

You see, what is happening as more and more of the horse's liver dies, the organ becomes less and less able to remove phylloerythrin and other fluorescing pigments that are contained in ALL GREENSTUFFS. If it's green, in other words, it's got phylloerythrin in it. That's not a problem so long as the animal has a healthy liver. But as the liver dies, the concentration of phylloerythrin circulating in the blood that has not been broken down as it normally would be in the liver, rises higher and higher. When sunlight passes through thin skin, white skin, skin covered only by white hairs (which are actually clear), or skin covered only by a thin amount of fur, it strikes the phylloerythrin and that makes the pylloerythrin fluoresce. And fluorescence is emitted radiation. So what "scratches" really are, when they come from this cause, is a radiation burn that is coming from INSIDE the horse's body.

The second line of defense is to remove liver toxins, as much as possible, from the animal's diet. This means learning which plants are liver-toxic, learning what those plants look like at all seasons of the year, learning where they grow and how they reproduce, learning how best to kill or eradicate them, and then going out into your actual pasture and actually taking whatever steps are necessary to eradicate them.

The third line of defense is to stop doing silly, ineffective things like feeding dandelion as a "liver cleanser." What did you think you were doing there, Bonnie? Giving the old purple organ the soap-bubble treatment? There is no such thing as a "liver cleanser" -- this is sales talk BS. What helps the liver is a healthy diet, the general or overall good health of the animal. So you provide good hay of the appropriate kind, and clean water, and your animal will have a healthy liver. Dandelion has no particular beneficial effect on the mammalian liver that I know of, but it is a high-sugar plant, and it is also difficult to tell from some other yellow-rayed composites that are, besides being high-sugar, also toxic (i.e. Hairy and Smooth Cat's Ear). So again, you need to go to the Poison Plants book and learn how to tell Dandelion from its near look-alikes that are toxic.

I learned quite a bit by putting the Poison Plants book together, so I truly do appreciate how ignorant I was before I learned more about the subject. The PP book is there to save you the trouble of having to look it all up in the more than 70 reference works or Internet sites that I consulted in compiling it.

I also recommend Dr. Andrew Weil's monthly health newsletter to everyone (subscription information is at http://www.drandrewweil.com). He is not a greedy doctor, certainly much less than some others that have promoted themselves. He is highly qualified, having both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in comparative botany. He has a great interest in, and tells the truth about, herbal remedies, prescribing them when they are both effective and more economical or less toxic than conventional drugs. But he also will tell you to use the drug when that is the best option or the only option. Weil's most valuable books are the latest edition of "Self Healing" and "Healthy Aging". The latter in particular is, I think, a must-read -- it is a definite help in getting one's head set on straight.

As to your other question about probiotics, Bonnie, since you are in the U.S. you can call Equus Magazine at 301-977-3900 (hit "0" when the recording comes on, then tell the receptionist you want to speak to Chrystel about getting back issues). Just ask her for anything they've done on the use of probiotics as part of a general feeding regimen. You should also review Dr. Chris Pollitt's website at http://www.chrispollitt.com and download his papers on the cause-effect relationship of diet and laminitis, and then review his quite brilliant idea to use probiotics to short-circuit this disease process. -- Dr. Deb

Alex
Member
 

Joined: Mon Jul 2nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 27
Status:  Offline
Hi Deb,

I have just received an e mail from a friend showing an example of a report he had done by a graduate of an on line nutrition course from an equine nutritionist (VMD) from the US.

The graduate not only recommends feeding linseed in a ground form as "boiling would destroy the nutrients" but she also talks about feeding copper sulphate. I have always thought this to be a crazy idea as I have seen what it does in a test tube and thought that there was no way I would want to feed it to anybody! It seems to be however one of those things (like garlic) that people do.

The other use of copper sulphate that you see sometimes is its use on wounds. It is regularly recommended by old bushies in Australia to put on wounds, especially those with proud flesh. Again visions of what happened in the test tube back in science class keep me from this one as well.

Why are VMD nutritionists presumably recommending this as a way of supplementing copper? Once it is mixed into a feed does it end up being okay? I am told (by Katy Watts) that a lot of Australian soils are very, very low in copper. What is a good way of supplementation if you are in one of these areas?

All the best,

Alex

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Alex, obviously this nutritionist is thinking only about the nutritional properties of flax and not about its toxic properties. All the literature I have ever seen on raw flax indicates that it contains cyanogenic glycosides, i.e. molecules that metabolize to cyanide. The amount is small, so that you can use ground flax to sprinkle on your cereal or you can put a little flaxseed in bread. But the amount of cyanide ingested goes up proportionally with the size of the serving. How much is this nutritionist then recommending be fed to the horse? And is this to be fed continuously, so that we see long-term effects? Either way, I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Especially in light of the fact that (a) there are safer ways to get Omega-3's into the horse, and (b) I would have to see evidence of Omega-3 deficiency in my horse before I would even worry about it.

This is what I was telling Tui: how you figure out what a horse needs is by looking at him, observing his physical condition, his spontaneous level of activity and energy, the gusto of his appetite, and his "behavior". An owner has to have a firm idea of what "normal" means. The good horse owner provides the best hay they can lay their hands on, that is of a type suitable for horses; provides clean water; provides a mineralized salt block; and then keeps an eye on the horse.

And this answers the other question: how you get copper into a horse is you either use a mineralized salt block that contains copper, or, if that does not provide enough, you talk to your vet about getting a safe and proven mineral supplement that contains copper. However, you are highly unlikely to need that, even on copper-deficient soils, because the total amount of copper that a horse requires is miniscule and should easily be provided in the salt block.

You're right about old chemistry class. Copper sulphate is mighty rough stuff. So is magnesium sulphate (epsom salts) -- feed that stuff and you will have instant diarrhea. If your horse needs magnesium, you should feed it in glutamate, aspartate, or citrate forms -- much better absorption, much easier on the system. I can't speak to copper with as much knowledge as I have of the magnesium, but I'll bet it's similar.

As to copper sulphate on wounds: yes, we have the same ideas up here. The suggestion to use it comes from the primitive notion that strong-colored and strong-smelling substances "must" have healing properties. This is the stock-in-trade of the snake oil salesman, and is antithetical to science.

People use copper sulphate especially on thrush and to try to cure "scratches" -- totally inappropriate in both cases. Scratches is a sequel of liver disease, or else of direct toxicity/internal chemistry, or (rarely) it is "idiopathic"; in any case, you can give first aid from the outside but you're never going to cure it by any topical application. If you want to use topicals on scratches, your first choice is zinc oxide and then you combine that with an antiseptic drying powder, antiseptic soaps, and/or antiseptic creams to promote local wound closure and to soothe chapped or raw skin.

Thrush is a fungal infection at least initially, for which the effective response is the use of a fungicide. Copper sulphate has almost zero efficacy against fungus; what you need instead is dilute bleach or else a commercially prepared fungicide. You can use the fungicide sold for use on roses (just be sure to get the sort that has no insecticide mixed in with it); this is safer than bleach to use above the feet, when there's a chance that it could splash into the horse's eye. Rose fungicide is quite effective against fungus or rainrot in the mane or on their back. Test on a small area of the shoulder or the side of the neck before giving a big bath with it, however; no matter what you put on your horse, you have to be sure he's not going to react negatively to it.

So I go back here to the exhortation to get good hay. Whenever we feed hay, to the extent that hay is what we feed, then our horse is not living in our pasture or upon our farm; he is living, for all intents and purposes, on the farm where the hay was grown. It is therefore always best if one can know or discover where the hay was actually grown. This is where having the neighbor who is a hay-man is the ideal thing.

It has always surprised me that more horsepeople do not see the advantages of community action in this area. Why do groups of horsemen not band together to contract with a farmer that he shall grow the type of hay that they desire, and they pay him down at the beginning of the season and the rest at harvest? In other words, a horsemens' hay cooperative -- good for the horsemen, good for the horses, and good for the farmer too I should think.

If horse clubs could get their mind off of just sponsoring shows, and realize they COULD have so many other useful functions, we might see more of this. -- Dr. Deb

Izzy
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
Thank you so much for all this information! This is a really interesting thread and has now got me really thinking about what I give my horses. At the moment they are on exactly what you suggest – really good hay and water! And they have salt/mineral licks in their fields. My mare however, suffers from sweetitch really badly and has just started rubbing. The last anti-itch rug I used did a fabulous job on the itching but gave her a nasty rub so I’m not keen to use that again. I have been recommended a herbal mixture but having read this thread I don’t think I want to use it! Has anyone found anything that works or is it a case of just keeping her out of the flies as much as possible?

 

The herbs in the mix I’ve been recommended are as follows:

Berberis aristata The alkaloids in the bark and root are berberine, berbamine aromoline, karachine, palmatine, oxyacanthine and oxyberberine. Anti-inflammatory – studies in mice & humans only!

Curcuma longa, (Turmeric) a polyphenol and another anti-inflammatory

Cedrus deodara, (Himalayan Cedar) an anti-inflammatory but have read about high levels of zinc, copper and manganese although this is in the pollen due to pollution

Pinus griffithi, Blue Pine – couldn’t find any information on this one

Piper longum, (Indian Long Pepper) piperine & piplartine

Piper nigrum, (Black pepper) piperine, chavicine, piperidine, piperettine

Zingiber officinalis,(ginger) often used but suitable for horses??

 Psoralea corylifolia. Psoralene and isopsoralene – flavones

 
Any information gratefully received. Thank you again

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
thanks for all your info my mare eats a half bale a day and is on long grass but am re-grassing this year as i have now become aware that it is the grass doing the damage and  the toxin binders have their work cut out for them living on the grass she has. It has only been five days and she looks so much better already which is hard to believe in such a short time but has a long way to go...thanks again for all your info and also the contacts for finding out about the use of probiotics and laminitis as one of my mares had an attack two years ago. she has never had another and has stayed sound but the threat is always there if not managed so any info in preventions is great. look forward to your clinic at papakura rsa.

Pauline Moore
Member
 

Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Crows Nest, Australia
Posts: 273
Status:  Offline
Hello Izzy - I sympathize with your quest to find a remedy for sweetitch, I also have one horse who is badly affected and would dearly love to find something that would relieve his obsessive need to scratch.

A number of queries raised in this thread have brought to mind the dangers of giving anything (orally or topically) to our horses without knowing exactly what it is and what it does or does not do.  As Dr Deb has already stated, 'natural' is not necessarily better and neither is 'natural' necessarily harmless.  All of the toxic plants listed in Dr Deb's excellent book are 'natural' but we wouldn't consider feeding them to a horse.  There is so much misinformation,  folklore and plain ignorance about the use of herbs and spices that it is almost impossible to get accurate information for human use, let alone for horses who are often more sensitive than we are in tolerance of toxic substances, and I'm saying this as someone who likes to use medicinal herbs whenever appropriate.

I cannot answer your specific questions but one of the items listed is Himalayan Cedar.  This rang a faint bell in my brain about the toxicity of white cedar so I wondered if all cedars could be poisonous.  A little delving quickly showed that white cedar (melia azedarach) is not a true cedar at all and is unrelated to Himalayan cedar (cedrus deodora).  I also found out that white cedar is commonly known as 'Thuja' and instantly remembered an equine herbalist some years ago trying to sell me an ointment for a skin condition that contained Thuja - thank goodness I did not buy it.  Even applied topically, a toxic substance will penetrate the skin and find it's way throughout the body - think of the popularity and effectiveness of nicotine and hormone dermal patches. 

For all I know, Himalayan cedar is probably perfectly safe, but I think this story serves to show that we have to be very careful about who we believe, we really have to be certain that what we are using is entirely safe.

Another good example is the copy of a report from someone selling nutritional advice that was forwarded to me a couple of days ago.   Amongst many dubious recommendations was the advice to use Lugol's Solution (strong iodine) as a source of oral iodine supplementation.  Iodine is a strong antiseptic used in hospital surgical procedures to kill all micro-organisms - taken internally it will also kill gut flora, good and bad, the last thing any horse needs when laminitis is so prevalent, every horse needs all the friendly bacteria it can get. I expect the author of the report meant well, but it just goes to show that partial understanding of any subject can be dangerous.

Dr Deb, if you see this - I haven't been able to get on to Chris Pollitt's website, not operating at the moment, to check out what he's been doing with probiotics but it would certainly make sense for an acute laminitis episode, I always keep a tub handy for just such an unexpected event.  However, about 4 years ago a small group of associates did try supplementing with probiotics for several months as a preventative measure for horses living on high-sugar pastures, with disappointing results - no-one could see any difference in horses who routinely became sorefooted with the seasonal onset of abundant grass.  This small experiment did not, of course, take into account any possible influence from mycotoxins etc.   A note on the side is that one person who fed a powdered probiotic in a mineral carrier at the high 'stress level' dose for an extended period, found that the extra minerals had likely upset the normal body mineral balance of his horse which showed as all-over skin lesions.

Izzy - if you can verify that your recipe is harmless, I'd be very interested to know the results.

Best wishes - Pauline

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
the best i have come up with in dealing with herbs is to ask the vet if what has been recomended is myth or fact and the pros and cons of whatever it is you are using. I am aware of the dangers of herbs now with a little research but have also in certain cases had great success and cure and have been reinforced by my vet on a job well done so i think its a case of get to know your herbs if it is what you choose to treat with. 

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Pauline, I'll have to confess to having muddled up what Dr. Pollitt is doing. It's not a probiotic he's feeding, it's an antibiotic which affects the balance of gut flora. What his product does is reduce the intra-coelomic population of the bacteria that specifically feed on the fructans -- these are the population that 'blooms' within the gut when the horse ingests a lot of high-fructan grasses. Nevertheless when you do get on to Pollitt's website you will find it useful -- he has many of his papers set up as free downloadable PDF's.

As to the cedar: your comments bring home to me that I must remember, when teaching, that most people are not used to thinking of, or referring to, plants by their scientific name. Because of course the scientific name is specific and unique; in other words, the term Cedrus deodorata refers to one, and only one, kind of plant; always the very same plant; and refers to that same plant, no matter who speaks or writes of it, whether they live in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, or China.

This, as I say, is not how most people think; instead, what people who go out to buy herbs ask for is 'Himalayan cedar' or 'white cedar' or 'incense cedar'. In other words, they use the common name. But to take but one example, the term 'white cedar' in North America means Thuja occidentalis (Northern -- or Eastern -- White Cedar); but the same tree is also called 'Arborvitae'. Whereas in Australia, the tree a person is liable to have in mind when she says 'white cedar' is Melia azedarach, a tree which is known here as 'Chinaberry' or else 'Texas Umbrella Tree', and which is most definitely on our toxic plants list.

The number of examples of this sort of thing that could be given is practically endless -- in other words, there is a high possibility of confusion when using common names for plants. All the plants our Poison Plants book are listed first by their scientific name, but also cross-indexed by every common name I could hear of, so that the person not familiar with scientific names could have the best chance of finding all the plants called 'white cedar' for example. So the PP book functions here to help people learn the scientific name. The bottom line is that the consumer must know the scientific name of the plant in question, or else the buyer and the seller may be working at cross-purposes. And it is advisable to obtain herbal preparations only from reputable companies. This is another reason I recommend Andrew Weil's publications; he tells you the safest places to get stuff.

As to the iodine: well, at some point one must hope that the horse owner's common sense would kick in. Not only will a strong iodine solution, when ingested, kill gut flora, it will also kill the cells OF the gut. Once again: strong-colored, strong-smelling stuff in the primitive mind "must" have medicinal properties.

A mind is primitive whenever it insists that it is self-sufficient; that it knows how the world works without any need to refer to information in books. Or, when it finally condescends to look in books, it is also the very mind that lacks the ability to discriminate between false and true information. The ancient Greek philosopher-mathematician Thales said: 'Education does not consist in conveying to youth a list of facts. True education consists in creating in each youth the ability to discriminate facts. Once that has been accomplished, the young man or woman will be safe anywhere.' -- Dr. Deb

Carol Layton
Member
 

Joined: Sun Mar 15th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status:  Offline
Hi all
My name is Carol Layton and I am the one who produced the feeding plan recommendations that Alex and Pauline have commented on and asked questions about.
 
I hope it is okay to add to this discussion on nutrition and substances that are safe and unsafe for horses.  Apologies for the length but I have a lot to address.
 
First of all, I’m a committed horse owner, keen on the sport of endurance and had for a long time been frustrated about what to feed horses and in what quantities.  Speaking to feed companies never helped as it depended on which company I spoke to and a lot of what they said conflicted at the most basic levels.  Obviously they are just pushing their product lines.  After a long search for an in depth equine nutrition course it was clear than none were available in Australia.
 
Thankfully I found Dr Eleanor Kellon VMD, http://drkellon.com/ an equine nutrition specialist who has a number of books published including last year’s ‘Horse Journal Guide to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals’.  Dr Kellon offers online equine nutrition courses; NRCPlus is one that every horse owner should do.  Students learn how to use the American National Research Council (NRC), 2007 guidelines for feeding horses and Dr Kellon builds on these guidelines to cover why individual nutrients are needed and in what amounts and most important the proportions of these nutrients to each other to prevent adverse interactions.  This includes how to use pasture/hay tests plus nutritional profiles on feed bags and supplements to determine a balanced diet for their horses.
 
A good understanding of this material enables the student to be able to evaluate feeds and supplements, in short, the course is empowering and for me, joyful.  Dr Kellon bases her recommendations on science when it is available by providing abstracts and links to papers and when the science is not available specifically to horses then relevant papers based on other animals.  Of course the preference is for studies on horses but as we all know, there are vast gaps in our knowledge that hopefully in time when funds are available, a lot of these questions can be answered.  Dr Kellon’s credibility has always been strengthened in my mind by her extensive experience as a nutritionist, the time she has spent helping horse owners with problems that have a nutritional element and her own breeding and training of Standardbreds.
 
The substances that have been questioned are all recommended by Dr Eleanor Kellon VMD.
 
Linseeds (flaxseeds) and linseed oil (flax oil) is recommended as the omega-3 (anti inflammatory) to omega-6 (pro inflammatory) ratio is similar to what is found in grass which is roughly 4:1.  If a horse is predominantly on hay rather than pasture then to replace the fatty acids lost when the grass is turned into hay, either the oil or the seeds (ground) can be added to the feed.  All the other oils, including oily feeds such as black sunflower seeds have the ratio higher in the pro inflammatory omega-6.  Horses do not manufacture omega-3 or omega-6; they have to come from the diet.  It takes about 56 g (2 oz) of linseed per 4.5 kg (10 lb) of hay to replace the essential fatty acids.
 
In the case of the diet that I balanced, the amount of linseeds was 60 g which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of oil.  The owner of these horses was feeding more than this and I recommended that he decrease the amount.  Since the horses are on pasture the hay situation doesn’t apply but the 15 ml of oil puts a lovely shine on a horse’s coat and the owner wanted to have some linseed in his horses’ diets.  One of my own horses had a very dry coat; a small amount of linseeds changed that to a smooth silky coat.  This could be achieved with any oil but if the preference is for an oil higher in omega-3 than omega-6, then linseed is it.
 
Fortunately for people in America and elsewhere they have access to ground and stabilised linseed or flax as boiling will destroy the fragile fatty acids.  One supplier is Horsetech.  Here in Australia we don’t have that option so instead we add freshly ground linseeds to a horse’s feed.
 
I had concerns with the issue of hydrogen cyanide but Dr Kellon explained that the seeds contain little, to no, preformed hydrogen cyanide.  It is produced when the cyanogenic glycosides come into contact with enzymes that are normally packed in vesicles but get released with grinding.
 
“To put the risk in perspective, pigs are fed diets containing as much as 15% linseed by weight with no toxicity.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a report of cyanide poisoning from flax in a horse.”  A lot of people have been feeding freshly ground linseed for years.  I know of people who grind enough linseed to do a number of horses for a week and store it in the freezer.  My preference is to grind it just before feeding so in essence, there is a way to feed ground linseed with all the benefits of the nutrients in the seeds.
 
Copper sulphate – is a source of copper but not a very good one as it is not as soluble in alkaline pH and there is the potential for more interference with copper absorption (e.g. sulphates in water).  Copper sulphate is a chemical compound that in the context of feeding can supply copper, it is used by many feed and supplement manufacturers as an ingredient for copper.  Here is one Australian example – Coprice M http://www.coprice.com.au/speciality/horse/m.asp.  However, the better copper source is polysaccharide copper, known as poly copper, again readily available in America but impossible in Australia.  I managed to track down an importer of minerals who could sell me some but I had to buy 25 kg of the stuff!  I try to steer people away from copper sulphate to poly copper as it is more bioavailable.
 
Context or where a substance is used is highly relevant, just because copper sulphate can work powerfully in the elimination of seedy toe and thrush doesn’t mean that it will work like this in the digestive tract, mixed in the intestinal fluids.
 
Since copper is a trace mineral requirement in horses it is only needed in very small amounts but should not be ignored as it is involved in so many cellular processes, the most obvious being in the coat, skin and hooves.  A valid concern is feeding too much of it.  But there is a way to ensure this doesn’t happen, once you know exactly how much to supplement you can then make up a bulk amount say for 40 days, mixed with salt as the base and you can tell if it is evenly mixed by the blue colour of poly copper/copper sulphate.
 
Mineral blocks don’t work.  I think it is agreed that the self medicating theory for horses is a doomed one; otherwise they wouldn’t eat tasty poisonous plants and never have dietary laminitis.  Hence, some horses never touch mineral blocks or overdo it due to the molasses or similar to make it palatable.
 
Once you know how much of each mineral is in the whole diet then a custom mineral mix can be made to supplement the ones that are deficient and correct the ratios to prevent adverse mineral interactions.  One example is excessive zinc, it was found to interfere with copper causing copper deficiency symptoms in foals.  There is debate over whether the high zinc prevented the copper from being absorbed or to effects within the body but the bottom line is that trace minerals must be kept in balance.  The 2007 NRC recommends ratios of copper:zinc:manganese of 1:4:4.  Because sulphur in drinking water and other sources can interfere with copper, Dr Kellon recommends a safer margin with 1:3:3.
 
Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormones.  High and low intakes are known to cause goitre and hypothyroidism and it is associated with ‘dysmaturity syndrome’ in foals.  One of the sources of iodine that Dr Kellon recommends is Lugol’s Iodine.  The 2007 NRC guidelines recommend 3.5 mg/day for a 450 kg horse.  You can calculate how much iodine is needed to be supplemented if there is a deficiency in the whole diet.  Dr Kellon also recommends kelp but only if the nutritional profile is known.  Kelp can vary widely with iodine content and I would never recommend kelp if the source is not reliable.  Iodised salt is another source but unlikely to be sufficient to make up the amount needed.
 
It became clear to me that the leading experts in equine nutrition do not all agree on all things, not that I would expect the leaders in any field would agree with each other.  Debate is an essential part of it.  In the end we have to look at the evidence and be guided by the experts and decide for ourselves plus a bit of commonsense.  I am working on expanding the breadth of my knowledge so that it isn’t just Dr Kellon’s take on feeding that I listen to so I appreciate this discussion and have found it very interesting.

* * * * * * * *
 
Caroline: it is not permitted here to mention any business service, or anything that is for sale, or anything from which you might derive a profit; nor is it kosher to post a business card or link. This Forum is for discussion only. This is just to get you up on our rules and standards. We appreciate your reply and will be responding to it shortly. -- Dr. Deb 

 

Last edited on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 04:31 am by DrDeb

leca
Member


Joined: Fri Jul 4th, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 53
Status:  Offline
The problem with NRC recommendations is that it is based on American soil profiles which are very different to Australian soil profiles.  The mineral supplements recommended for American conditions just dont fit Australian ones and can lead to big problems. 

Carol Layton
Member
 

Joined: Sun Mar 15th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status:  Offline
Hi all
Soil is soil. American and Australian soils are not different in regards to what horses get in nutrients, there is variation across both countries.  Some soils are saline, some are selenium rich, many are copper, zinc and selenium deficient both in America and Australia and elsewhere.  If you want to compare soils then look at the top few cm's that plants derive their nutrients from ,that is, how far down the roots can grow.  More importantly it is the pasture/hay that counts as horses eat pasture or the hay that pasture produces.  There is a lot of pasture/hay test discussions in Dr Eleanor Kellon's Yahoo groups and the problems they face in America with mineral deficiencies and inbalances are the same in Australia and elsewhere.  Horses are horses whether they be in America or Australia.  If your horse's diet is deficient for any nutrients then it is doesn't make any difference whether the horse is in America or Australia, same principles apply.

International students who have take Dr Kellon's courses are in Canada, South America, Egypt, UK, Australia and other places I can't think of for the moment.  They do not think the NRC guidelines are unique to American horses.

Regards
Carol Layton

Last edited on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 04:32 am by DrDeb

Pick
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
Hi Dr Deb,

I have a 13yo Standardbred Gelding who is on agistment & the paddocks now have virtually no pasture left, just dirt & weeds, so he relies on hand feeding.  Up until now I've been feeding lucerne chaff, oaten chaff (dampened down with water just before feeding), economix & recently added in Kohnke's Own Cell-Provide (I was advised he would need extra vitamins & minerals).

Two weeks ago he had a choking incident (oesophageal obstruction) in the afternoon that ended up with him being hospitalised as  I thought he'd resolved it himself by the evening, but by the next morning he still wasn't right.  The vet came out & was unable to clear it with him being sedated & using a nasal tube connected to a garden hose.  He also had aspiration pneumonia which he was given anti-biotics for. In hospital the following day he was sedated & tubed again then an endoscopy showed it was clear & he also had no strictures or growths in his oesophagus for the food to catch on.  The vet also checked his teeth & determined they were well maintained (I get them done yearly by a master equine dentist) & not the cause of the problem.

The vet advised to prevent future occurences I put bricks or large rocks in his feed tub, however even with bricks in he had another obstruction, but he fortunately cleared it himself.  I became scared about feeding hay or chaff & went looking for advice.  A lady told me either adding some oil (energy gold if I could afford it, otherwise canola) when I dampen it down would help lubricate it, or some apple cider vinegar would help him salivate more.  I wondered if olive oil would be good, but haven't used it yet because I wasn't sure.  I've been using 1/4 - 1/3 cup canola oil for now & it seems to be working well & stopping the chaff from clumping in his throat but was unsure about long term use of it.  Do you have any suggestions or re-inforcing comments?

Thankyou,

Emma

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Emma, the first step on this will be for you to use the search function above and keyword "choke" and read the very explicit description of this problem which I posted to this forum some time ago. I want you to be clear on what choke is and how the peculiar anatomy of the horse makes it different from "choking" in people.

The reason the horse had aspiration pneumonia is from the attempts made by the vet to intubate him. I am not saying the vet did wrong; I am sure he did what he thought was necessary. Nevertheless, once you have read the detailed post on choke, you will understand that if there is something stuck in a horse's esophagus, then if you try to tube him with either water or mineral oil or canola oil or anything else, the fluid goes in, meets the obstruction, then comes right back up into the pharynx, from which it has noplace to go but down the larynx and into the lung. If you put very much fluid into a horse that's got choke, you will kill him by filling his lungs with fluid (you will drown him).

The reason the horse has repeated bouts of choke is that the intubation procedures, as well as the material that got stuck in there itself, has scraped some of the mucus membrane off of the internal surface of the esophagus. This type of tissue does not repair itself very fast or very well; hence the vet's concerns with strictures and/or polyp-like growths. Yet the best thing in the world for it would have been to just leave it alone. Most chokes clear of themselves within a day or so.

For Emma, the time comes for every horse. They all have their Achilles Heel, their weak spot, someplace. You did no wrong by bringing the animal to the vet clinic, but what should probably have been done once he arrived there would have been simply to observe him. He would not have died if he did not drink water for a couple of days, and he would not have died even after that if he was in the clinic, because they could have hydrated him intravenously almost for any length of time. Attempts to flush down a choke or mechanically poke it down often scrape the inner lining of the esophagus and thus may do more harm than good.

At this point, you have a horse that is prone to choke. The friend who told you to slather the food with oil means well....but it will be hard to put enough oil on there to really help him not choke without also making him fat. You'll probably do just as well by soaking the feed in water. You are about to become an expert in preparing "chaff mashes".

Bran mashes aren't a bad idea for this, either; in other words, any food that is soft and fine-grained will help him. If he could be on a diet like this for several months, you might even cure him. I would like to suggest that you contact one of our longtime members and have a talk with him by telephone about mashes -- this is an Australian horseman, longtime breeder of Arabians, who has always fed his horses in the old-fashioned British way, with cooked mashes. If you would like to talk to this fellow, you may EMail me privately and I will give you his EMail to get you started. -- Dr. Deb

 

Pick
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
Thanks Dr Deb I will do a search on the description of choke & follow your other suggestions.  I wasn't clear in telling you as soon as the vet arrived to assess my horse she used the stethoscope to listen to his abdomen & chest & already determined he had aspiration pneumonia from being left with the obstruction overnight & his own saliva banking up on the obstruction & then going down the trachea (at least that's what she told me & I believed her, but whether or not she was just covering herself for what was to come, I'll never know).  He also was very dehydrated because he couldn't drink any water & the vet did say he might have to go on a drip, but after the obstruction was partially cleared & he arrived at hospital, he did drink enough water on his own to hydrate him enough to not need the I.V.

I guess regardless of what happened in the past, the important thing is how it is managed if it does happen again, which it very well could.  I definitely couldn't cope with another $1700 vet bill again.  After reading your response I would feel more comfortable next time around having him monitored & put on a drip if he risked dangerous dehydration.  Last time, the biggest cost overall was the anti-biotics because he was on 3 different types (Metronidazole, Gentamicin & Penicillin).  If the vet was genuine about his saliva being the cause of the aspiration pneumonia then I guess that's a risk again if he was just monitored & allowed to "self resolve", not sure, what do you think?

As far as adding oil to his feed & him getting too fat, he is on the lean side at the moment & could use some extra weight which would be good for now, but long term I understand it might be a problem.  I will consult the Australian Horseman/Long-Time Arabian Breeder for advice so I will email you privately, thankyou.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Yes, Emma, it could very well have been caused by his own saliva backing up. If he already had symptoms of aspiration pneumonia before he was intubated, it could not very well have been caused by any action the vet took.

What I would do if I were you is look around for the experienced old-fashioned type of veterinarian rather than the young cutting-edge just-out-of-school type. The experienced practitioner will know when there is blood in the streets, and when there is not. In other words, they tend to not over-react nor either over-treat, and they will keep the budget in mind as much as the health of the animal -- not sacrificing the latter at all, but looking for ways to get the job done more reasonably. If my vet told me I owed seventeen hundred bucks for a choke, I'd either laugh at him or shoot him, I'm not sure which.

And that's in full cognizance of how expensive fancy antibiotics actually are. But there has to come a balance between what the treatment costs vs. the value of the animal. In the old days, if that kind of expenditure was really the only alternative, most owners would have just said "put him down". And as far as that goes, $1700 would be beyond my own ability to pay, and I would HAVE to say "put him down."

So there are two things to do: one is to prepare yourself for the loss of the horse. And the other thing is to do all you can to prevent another choke. This is where getting in contact with an expert mash-cooker is so important; he won't get pneumonia again if he doesn't choke again. So I'll be looking for your EMail, and keep a pretty close eye on that horse in the meantime, as I'm sure you will.

Also, by the way, just as an afterthought: if the horse is on an automatic waterer, do go check to make sure it's working at full throttle. And if it's one of those types with a tiny little cup, I would for the next several months go ahead and provide a tank or the cut-off bottom of a plastic 50-gallon drum so he can drink freely. Automatic waterers with tiny cups force the horse to slake a thirst as if he were forced to drink out of a shot glass....very frustrating for him, and encourages the horse to water less than he should. Likewise if it's been cold enough to freeze in Canberra, make sure there isn't a sheet of ice on his bucket and/or the line to his automatic waterer isn't clogged or frozen.

Another thought is this: out of what type of container does this horse eat his chaff or hay? Hay-feeders are mostly godforsaken things. So do be sure that the feed pan or feeding area is at ground level. It is much more difficult for a horse to coordinate chewing, swallowing, salivation and peristaltic motion if he swallows the bolus with his head higher than his withers. -- Dr. Deb

Izzy
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
Thanks, Pauline - I'll do a bit more research and check with vets and let you know. My friend has previously used it and it has worked wonders, completely stopping her horse from itching.

Also, does anyone know how I can get hold of the Poison Plants book & the Birdie Book here in the UK? I'm thinking that it would do me (and my horses) good to read them both...! :o)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Izzy, we do have a distributor in the UK, Pippa Lang....her contact info is in the bookstore section -- just look for it when you look up either the Poison Plants book or the Birdie Book; it tells you that if you're in the UK, to contact Pippa first as a courtesy.

Now, I think she has both in stock, but if she doesn't and then she says 'just buy it through the website,' you can of course do that. Thanks for your interest in getting this information. -- Dr. Deb

Charlotte
Member
 

Joined: Sun Feb 1st, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 14
Status:  Offline
...deleted superfluous info as Dr Deb beat me to it...! A chance to say thank you though for speedy delivery of my audio lessons.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 10:41 pm by Charlotte

Pick
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
...well the vet did quote me at the paddock it would cost around $1000 but meant what was to come, not what was already done (which I didn't realise was already $500).  After ringing my husband we decided $1000 was alot of money but we know horses are expensive & it was better than my horse dying.  My horse was given to me after retiring from pacing so he initially didn't cost me anything.  The in-hospital part ended up being $1200 & the vet gave me the endoscopy 1/2 price because she felt bad about the accumulating cost.  So when I went to pick him up I got hit with the $1700 total, too late to decide if he was worth it or not, & luckily it hasn't broken us but it does make my hubby shudder if the topic comes up.  We do have a vet in the area who is one of those old-timers you spoke of, & spoke to her on the phone & she said it sounded too bad for her to come out as he might need hospitalisation.

Anyway, like I said, it's what happens now that counts.  I'm about to learn all about mash-cooking.

The trough situation at the agistment isn't a problem, it's a big self-filling one that 6 or more horses could drink from at once (if they liked each other).  The feed container I use is a tuff tub & I always put it on the ground as someone told me quite a while ago it is the natural feeding position for the horse & their dental mechanism can be thrown right out of whack if they're feeding with their head too high. 

Thankyou so much for all your help, you're wonderful =)

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
Hi

Can we talk about Garlic again please.

What exactly are the symptoms of garlic poisoning?

I was warned not to feed my head shaker garlic by his traditional Chinese herbalist who was treating him. He is better now and I don't feed garlic anyway, but I am curious to know what the effects might be on the horses fed with garlic supplements. Many, many are fed it here - their owners believing it to be beneficial - what a waste of their money!

PS I really MUST buy the poisonous plants book now! I will try to get it through Pippa

Jacquie

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Garlic causes pernicious anemia in horses.

Read all about it in the PP book! We sent you an EMail this morning with directions on how to get it from Pippa Lang in England. Thanks for your interest, Jacqui. With all the British mad for gardening, a kind of national passion, I expect you'll specially enjoy it. I kind of have a fond feeling for some of those weeds, because when in flower, if you look close, most all of them are, in fact, beautiful, and I tried to make the photography in the book reflect that. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
dr deb i have found a product quite appealing called hemp pellets aparently it is feed all over america and canada according to the sales lady. Is this safe? as i notice she didnt have any scientific studies to back it up. The benifits it advertises are very appealing especially the amounts of protein, fiber and fatty acids as this apears to be all the product it made up of and obviously is THC free. Do you have and oppinion on this product? and is it safe?

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
Great, I will contact Pippa about the book. Thanks for that. I suppose we really are a nation of gardeners!

Presumably the pernicious anaemia causes the horses to be energy less etc - as in humans? Is it reversible once the garlic is stopped being fed? Is it accumulative over time increasing the effects?

I am just amazed about garlic being poisonous to horses, to be frank. I don't feed garlic as I said, but loads of my horsey acquaintances do, thinking they are being good horse owners - and it is added to many chaffs and all kinds of other feeds too as a 'beneficial' extra too! It really is quite shocking.

Sorry to go on, but how can this be allowed? Why is no-one stopping this?

Jacquie

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Tui -- hemp (Cannabis sativa) in most forms is illegal in the U.S. I don't know about Canada. Hemp pellets are not widely fed here -- I have never known or heard of anyone feeding them. Hemp products are disapproved of here because to make hemp products, you first have to grow hemp. To do that in the U.S. takes a special license, for the reason that hemp is marijuana.

The pellets may or may not contain the psychoactive ingredient that makes Mary Jane "dope". I don't know because I've never seen the lady's product, or any analysis of it; but that pellets should be free of cannabinol and other toxins contained in hemp is unlikely, since all parts of the plant are known to contain them. Horses and cattle that graze hemp get "high" -- just as humans do when they eat brownies made with marijuana. Clinical signs of poisoning by cannabinol and the more than 60 other toxins that have been isolated from this plant include central nervous system depression, hyperexcitability, vomiting, salivation, muscle tremors, and ataxia (c.f. Knight and Walter). Horses are unpredictable enough to most people without adding anything that might be psychoactive to their diet.

I am not sure what 'THC' is -- some undesirable pollutant? Who says hemp is not grown with chemicals? 'Organic hemp' -- I am not sure where you could get that.

Again, Tui: What you need is two things:

(1) A better education -- better basic information -- about what kind of an animal a horse is and what it actually needs to thrive; and

(2) Good grass, good hay, good water, and a trace-mineral block.

Incidentally, when I say "block" I mean the kind we have here in North America, that is a cube 10 inches on an edge and you set it in their stall in a rubber pan and let them lick it. The trace mineral block contains all the trace minerals a horse needs, unless you have some kind of extreme situation -- the lady who wrote in here to say 'mineral blocks don't work' was, I think, thinking of a different type of system. I agree that the idea of having the horse choose on his own what minerals he 'needs' is totally fallacious; if you offer little bowls of minerals separately, they will eat them one by one in order of saltiness. So the big unit block works because to get salt, they have to take all the minerals at once. They safely excrete anything they might not need.

In New Zealand, Jenny Paterson offers an excellent magnesium supplement that also has some other stuff in it. Since NZ does have a problem with low-Mg soils, and thus low-Mg content in grass and hay, and hypomagnesaemia is in fact frequently seen in horses and cattle on farms where magnesium is not supplemented, that is one supplement I would probably use if I were trying to grow horses there. But again, the RATIONAL course would be to first have your soil, grass, and hay assayed.

....and now as an afterthought, I'm going to revise what I said above to say I think really you need a third thing too: you need to quit worrying so much that your horses are not going to be OK. Tui, do you have some particular issues around death? Because as I said in the very first reply to you, if you provide good feed and water, your horses have as great a chance of being JUST FINE as anybody else's. You do not need supplements unless you have a particular reason to think they are called for, and you cannot raise horses by means of supplements. 

And, more than all Tui -- you cannot control every detail. If you don't give yourself some interior room on this, you will not be able to give your horses room, either, and I promise you, that will screw up their mental and psychological development and get so much in the way of their ability to be racehorses that you will have defeated your livestock yourself, long before they ever get to the track. Please give this suggestion some thought.

-- Dr. Deb

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
Dr deb thanks for the quick reply..
The lady that supplies the organic hemp pellets is attending your course at the papakura rsa on Thursday perhaps you could chat to her about what she is selling she is also closely following Jenny's products. THC is the chemical that causes the person or animal to get high.

' I think i am being misunderstood completely...my horses are on pasture full time they do not have stalls they live on rhy grass which is   and therefore there is hardly any nutrition in it only crap it is very rare to find anything else in nz besides this awful grass . Unfortunately they have no other option until our pasture is re-grassed with appropriate horse friendly grass in the autumn.

As i mentioned before i do feed all 3 of jenny Patterson's products including the mag supplement you are referring to which is a magnesium/calcium supplement called alleviate and also a toxin binder called  detoxify to protect them as much as i can from the endopythes etc this is also a jenny Patterson product. I do not believe my horses would get everything they need off thirty year old rhy grass and this is why i feed Jenny's third product which is a complete mineral supplement to which they have responded greatly to. Horse need protein am i right? What i am trying to find is a safe protein product to feed i do not have access to decent hay until i have grown my own so am looking to give them protein in the feeds. I do not believe you can train any horse as hard as racing, endurance, three day eventing etc on grass and hay so i have made my decision to feed what i feed and am trying to find a good protein source thats not going to be detrimental to their health.

mustang girl
Member
 

Joined: Wed Nov 5th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
Well so for my first post here I am probably going to get in trouble. I mean no disrespect to Dr. Deb , but I have been feeding my horse Hemp for close to a year now and she is doing great on it. The daily dose for a horse her size (14.2) hands is 1 oz. per day. The company who makes the product is in Canada because it is still illegal to grow in the states.

The biggest misconception is that hemp IS maijuana.. Even though they both come from Cannabis sativa L., the varieties that are used to make hemp products (seed, fiber, etc.) and those that are used to make marijuana (flowering tops and leaves) are distinctly different. They are scientifically different and are cultivated in very different ways.

Here is a little more information about its benifits:  Hemp seed is a highly nutritious source of protein and essential fatty acids (EFAs) Many populations have grown hemp for its seed -- most of them eat it as `gruel' which is a lot like oatmeal. Hemp seeds do not contain any marijuana and they do not get you `high.'

Hemp seed protein closely resembles protein as it is found in the human blood. It is easy to digest; many patients who have trouble digesting food are given hemp seed by their doctors. Hemp seed was once called `edestine' and was used by scientists as the model for vegetable protein.

Hemp seed oil provides the human body with two important EFAs, omega-3 and omega-6 . Hempseed is the only seed which contains these oils with almost no saturated fat. As a supplement to the diet, these oils can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is because of these oils that birds will live much longer if they eat hemp seed.

With hemp seed, a vegan or vegetarian can survive and eat virtually no saturated fats. One handful of hemp seed per day will supply adequate protein and essential oils for an adult.

If this stuff was marijuana trust me cusoms would never let it across the border.  The product is tested on the Canadian side and then again on the U.S. side.

 

 I hope I haven't overstepped any boundries posting this info. Just for the record I am in no way associated with anyone or any company who makes these products, I am just a horse owner that has used this with great sucsess with my horse.

I also use Hemp protein powder daily as a vegan sorce of protein, I buy the product at my local health food store,it has become fairly common to see now, attesting to the fact that this is not the illegal form that can get you high.


Ok I guess I have said enough, and again I hope I didn't break any rules. If I did I apologize.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Dear Mustang -- why would you think you were going to get in trouble? I hope you did not come here looking for any.

Folks, here's the deal. I am not a botanist, and I am not a nutritionist. But I am a scientist -- a biologist -- capable of discriminating likely truth from likely exaggeration or falsehood. I am also an experienced horse owner. It is from this basis that I have given advice in this thread. What I have been urging is, above all, common sense and requisite caution.

In writing the Poison Plants book, I have acted as an "intelligent compiler of information." I rely on the printed literature, and I expect that you also, Mustang, will do that. "Printed literature" specifically excludes advertisements, testimonials, what your neighbor told you about her favorite supplement, and, especially, the statements made by any commissioned salesperson. The "literature" which I quote is the scientific literature, meaning papers published in juried or peer-refereed journals or books of the same level.

It is certainly kosher here, though, for you to tell us your personal experiences, i.e. for example that your horses are fed hemp pellets (apparently in small amounts) with no apparent ill effects. We are not equipped here, blind as we are, to assess what you mean by "no ill effects" -- in other words, I don't know what your level of horsemanship may be, what work you expect of your horses, or how sane I would think your horses were if I were to meet them. But I am not inclined to press this point, because at the very least, they haven't broken your ribs or stove your head in.

As to the rest of what you have to say....well, I had to smile about the long-lived birds. Yeah, I imagine there are still quite a few "old birds" around -- the same guys who used to sit in the dorm smokin' Mother Nature 35 years ago when I was an undergraduate. They're sure as heck old birds now! Got hair in their ears!

Because honey -- I don't care what anyone has told you -- Cannabis sativa is dope. In any way, shape, manner, or form; no matter how grown; no matter where grown; and grown for whasoever purpose, it's dope. A botanist, upon observing hemp grown in Cuba, hemp grown in Canada, hemp grown in Oregon, hemp grown in Kansas or Kamschatka, will still tell you, 'this is Cannabis sativa'. This is WHY you can't buy hemp pellets in the U.S. of good ol' A: because unless you assay every batch of pellets, you can't tell how much poison they may contain.

Now, it is true that in any poisonous species, the toxin content can vary by region, season, and local conditions (i.e. droughthy or freezing or not), and can vary also according to how the plant is treated (i.e. spray it with Roundup and between the time it is sprayed and the time it actually dies, it may have twice the normal amount of toxin in it). So perhaps what you're trying to say is that the hemp pellets you feed are made from plants grown so as to have low toxic potency. But again, the only way to really know this would be to sample the product and have it assayed.

And again, Mustang, what I have been saying to Tui is this: why are you feeding this stuff at all? Do you have evidence that on your property, the grass that you can grow does not provide adequate levels of Omega-3 fatty acids? Are you seeing signs (in your horses or other horses being raised near your farm) of deficiency, or a high incidence of skin cancer, hardening of the arteries, idiopathic allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, or other diseases that have a strong inflammatory component? For it is these conditions that would justify the feeding of supplemental omega-3's. It should be noted that the MAIN reason that omega-3 supplements are being touted for North Americans is our propensity to OVER-consume the inflammation-promoting omega-6's, which we ingest whenever we eat fried foods (French fries, KFC, potato chips, etc.). There is no evidence that we are DEFICIENT in omega-3's, only that the ratio of omega-3's to omega-6's in our typical HUMAN diet is forced out of balance by our liking for Mickey Dee's. So the need for supplemental omega-3's has no relevance at all to horsekeeping.

Please remember also, the horse's "daily required amount" of each nutrient, and the proportions and balance among all the nutrients, is different than what would be good for us humans. You must not treat a horse, in this sense, as if it were a member of your family. As I say again and again in the Poison Plants book, what's good for the goose is often fatal to the gander; or at least a waste of money.

Once again: please, people, go to reliable sources. Read Andrew Weil's newsletters; he tells you straight (and at that he sells supplements, but does not in the newsletter "push" them). PLEASE read Weil's "Healthy Aging". This will greatly help you to put things in perspective.

And Tui: yes, I do understand your problem with the ryegrass. I've said before that you are well advised to give the Alleviate and the toxin-binder in your situation, and I can advocate Jenny's products and her line of thought because I've seen the positive results that have come from her experiments in taking horses off of ryegrass.

Nevertheless -- you cannot feed the horses hemp and say that's going to be good for them. Notice that Mustang is feeding amounts so small that they could not possibly nourish a lactating mare. Also, if there ARE any poisons in the hemp, be aware that they carry right through to the milk (c.f. Knight and Walter); and be aware also that it usually takes much less total toxin, of whatever sort, to poison the foal as the dam. Therefore you would want to be twice as careful feeding a lactating mare as a horse in work.

From what you have most recently said, I now do not understand WHAT your horses must be eating. If you can't get hay, and you don't want to put your animals on the ryegrass pasture that you have, what are you feeding them? Surely it is hay, either grass of some sort or lucerne. Good grass is grown in New Zealand, and I know this because I have seen it. Particularly, you can buy lucerne of any type or quality in NZ, which is one of the world's great centers for the development of new strains of lucerne. Our correspondent Pauline Moore has had awful trouble with lucerne where she lives, in Australia, the effects being primarily due to excessive phytoestrogen content; but I can also attest that you can feed 100% lucerne to some horses and get into no trouble at all. When you get your Poison Plants book, you will see that a lot depends upon the particular cultivar that you buy. Normally one does feed lucerne to the lactating mare, and lucerne is the quickest way to get high amounts of protein into a horse. If lucerne can't work for you, then you should turn to bagged feeds that are specifically formulated for the lactating mare.

I am well aware that good hay is going to cost you money, as does any type of bagged feed. So the issue is, I think, not really that you CAN'T get suitable feed; the issue is that suitable feed is expensive.

Well, that's the way of it with horses, isn't it. They don't call racing "the sport of kings" for nothing. So you will just have to go to the extraordinary effort to find a source for good hay, and you will just have to come up with the dough. As I have said, I would far rather see you spend your hard-earned money on buying good hay than on buying supplements of any type, except those specifically required in your situation. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
Again thanks for your reply. i will steer away from the hemp...lol.  What i meant about pasture is that my horses are out to pasture 24/7 they do get hay every day but it is the hay from the property and we are in the process of re-grassing the property so untill that is done they have to graze what they have for now. thanks again for the info i have found a good breeding and young stock feed from coprice.

mustang girl
Member
 

Joined: Wed Nov 5th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
Hi Dr. Deb,

 Thank you for your reply. In all sincerity I was not looking for any trouble, just to share my experiance.

 The reason I feed it is because we have virtually no pasture, and my mare is Insulin Resistant and could not graze much anyways. We neede to give her something to suppl. for the healthy fats she would normally get thru grazing. I feed good quality hay that I have tested and then a balenced mineral suppl.

Since starting on the hemp (even that small of an amount) her coat is again shiney, her hooves look amazing,  etc..even my vet was very impressed at the change.

These products are legally brought into the U.S. from Canada, and as I stated before, every batch is tested. As well as the Hemp protein powder I buy at my national health food chain. Everything that comes in to this country is tested to ensure it does not test for THC.

In rereading the posts I think there might have also been some misunderstanding, I am not feeding hemp as a replacment for food, it is a suppl. for EFA( good fats) and I am only doing that because of the virtual lack of grazing and her IR. If she was able to be turned out on grass even half the day I would not be suppl. with anything.The product I but from Canada is meant to be fed as a suppl. not a forage replacement.

The DEA did try to ban it 6-7 years ago and lost in court,because it was proven that the way these imported products are grown and treated there was no trace of dope in them.

I wont take up anymore of Dr. Debs time or space on her forum here with this, but for those who are interested there is alot of information and research about what lenghts the hemp growers in Canada have to go thru to import their products legally to the U.S.

Anyways thanks for letting me tell you my experience.

 

Ben Tyndall
Member
 

Joined: Thu Mar 22nd, 2007
Location: British Columbia Canada
Posts: 47
Status:  Offline
THC is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, the "active" ingredient (psychoactive properties) in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis Sativa, often referred to as "hemp", is grown throughout the world for various industrial and nutritional purposes, primarily for use in textiles and animal feeds. It contains typically less than 0.3% THC, whereas the stuff kids buy to get high tends to contain 10-20% THC.

Toxicity of both THC and cannabis is very low for humans. The amount required to kill an adult human would be impossible to ingest (several hundred pounds of cannabis). I don't know if toxicity has been established for horses, Knight and Walter's comments notwithstanding.

My experience: I fed a cannabis-based supplement to my TB gelding for 6 months, in addition to a  hyaluronate powder, as a remedy for arthritis in the fetlock area. I didn't see any ill effects from either. I ended up dropping the cannabis-based supplement and sticking with the hyaluronate powder, not because I saw any effect one way or the other, but because the literature I read on the efficacy of hyaluronate was convincing.

...Ben

Last edited on Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 05:14 pm by Ben Tyndall

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Ben -- THC is poison, the toxic ingredient. Knight & Walter state that cases of intoxication (that means "poisoning") by Cannabis have been reported for all classes of livestock except chickens (see, there's those old birds again). Generally, this occurs through the animal grazing the plant -- dope grows "wild", especially along fencerows, throughout North America from Great Slave Lake south into Mexico.

I do believe you with regard to the low toxic content of hemp pellets, however, because you supply some actual data (which I assume you are getting from "guaranteed minimum analysis" on the feedbag), and it does not sound to me like the small amounts used as a feed supplement would be capable of intoxicating a horse.

And it was not necessarily a bad idea to try the stuff against arthritic conditions. You found that hyaluronic acid was more effective, and that would be expected. Mustang tells us she's using the hemp as a coat and hoof improver, i.e. a little oil in there and a little protein. This could be supplied 100 other ways, but if hemp pellets are nontoxic and cheaper than canola oil, or less likely to go rancid, then be my guest.

That's my only concern, you see -- that we not be poisoning our horses because we have gotten so "sold" on the general idea of supplementation, which is the heartfelt greatest desire and hope of every salesman. -- Dr. Deb

mustang girl
Member
 

Joined: Wed Nov 5th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
Well since the conversation is continueing I thought I would share this article, as this seems to be a group who appreciates learning and research.

It is a 28 pg. pdf this is the link. http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/naihc.hemp.mj.pdf

The writer is:


About the Author: Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from the University



of Minnesota and has spent 18 years as a commercial corn breeder. Since 1993 he has



served as an advisor to the emerging hemp industry regarding industrial hemp



germplasm. His work, “Fiber Wars: the Extinction of Kentucky Hemp” (1994), a



pioneering discussion of the functional difference between hemp and marijuana,


and his other writings on hemp and agriculture are available online.

It does a better job then I could of explaining the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana.

The hemp I get from Canada is milled from the whole plant not pellets. I am not familiar with the product the other member was refering to. It is not cheap, but canola and corn oils are contraindicated for Insulin Resistant horses, so those are not options for us. Hemp has been found to have the closest make up to grass,with the omegas, so it is very easy on the horses to utilize and they don't need alot to see benifits.

 For the record I am not a big on supplaments. Besides the little bit of hemp my mare gets a few extra minerals to make up for the deficincies in our hay, and a min. amount of APF, to help with her metabolism, thats it. If my mare could consume more grass she wouldnt even be getting the hemp. I am constantly amazed at the number of suppl. on the market for horses, it is a big money making business thats for sure.

 

tuis mum
Member
 

Joined: Sat Mar 7th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 15
Status:  Offline
gauranteed minimum anayalis for the hemp pellets i am reffering to are 30% protien, 8.5% fats of 3 and 6 and 25.5% fiber. Recomended daily feeding amout is between 1 to 2 cups a day.

cardio health, hooves and coats. support for joints and tendons andJoint issues and  of any kind, insulin resitance and lamanitic conditons or any inflamation conditions. excellent sorce of good fats, protein and fiber, improved muscle function and stamina, safe to feed to all horses including lactating mares and foals, central nervous system buffer etc etc the list goes on.

Like i was saying i am looking for a supplement for these specific conditions which is why i started to consider it. Dr deb i think i mentioned the distributor for this product is attending your course on thursday at papakura rsa and i had planned to meet her there to pick up a couple of bags maybe  you could have a chat with her about this product she is selling. I dont intend to feed it to all my horses just two that have  specific conditions.

Last edited on Mon Mar 23rd, 2009 10:05 pm by tuis mum

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
Hi DD

Today I  received your DVD on poisonous plants and have skim read a little of it. I love the photos and the text is going to take me a long time to read properly. What an amazing task to have assembled such a huge amount of information. Most admirable. I know many of the plants from my herbaceous borders and hanging baskets in my garden - other countries weeds are our prized garden flowers here! Some I knew were risky for horses but many I did not know about. What a fantastic resource.

thanks

Jacquie

Kuhaylan Heify
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 30th, 2015
Location:  
Posts: 70
Status:  Offline
Speaking of whivch I've googled around and found some entries stating that both Dandelion and false dandelion are implicated in stringhalt, and Other icky kinds of spasmodic movement. The entries said that the bad stuff in the two plants attacks the nerve sheaths in the horse. So I need to know if that's the case.
best
Bruce Peek

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Bruce, you really need to either obtain, or if you've already bought it, then get around to reading "Poison Plants in the Pasture: A Horse Owner's Guide."

That way, you won't sound like you've just discovered something that has been known, and publicized, and made easily available, to our readership for years (Poison Plants in the Pasture was published in 2005). Cheers -- Dr. Deb

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
Reply to Tui's Mum: I have no connections whatsoever with any distributor of cannabis or any other herbal supplement, never have and never will.

There is absolutely ZERO scientific research showing that cannabis is necessary for horses' health or soundness or saying that it is effective for pain relief in equines; nor any which gives us any firm idea at all that, even if cannabis were shown to be effective, what the appropriate dosage would be.

Again and again: what horses need for good health is proper pasturage, good hay fed in small amounts on a regular schedule, and clean water.

Please don't try to "sell" anyone here on your own enthusiasms or fads of the moment -- that goes for you and anyone else who reads or posts here. And please do not, ever, associate or try to associate my name with your favorite fad. Your continuing courtesy and discretion in this matter is highly appreciated. -- Dr. Deb




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez